Love, Marriage, and Money
| Peter Klein |
Most interesting passage I read today:
Contrary to prevailing interpretations that attribute the [historical] rise in voluntary, romantic unions to an increased sexual division of labor and the domestication of family life, Howell argues that true companionship between husband and wife was necessary to weather the challenges of commercial life. In her words, “love was by no means the antithesis of the market. It was the market’s helpmate” (p. 141).
It’s from Francesca Trivellato’s review of Martha C. Howell, Commerce before Capitalism in Europe, 1300-1600 (Cambridge, 2010). As Howell notes, “the commercialization of society was not just an economic history as we understand the term but a social, legal, and cultural story, and it is incomprehensible if told from the perspective of one of these modern conceptual categories alone.”